[WEHC Kyoto 2015] Network Management in Late Medieval and Renaissance Europe

KYOTO_Matthieu Scherman, Francesco Guidi Bruscoli et Joana Sequeira  co-organisent une session au 17th World Economic History Congress, qui se tiendra à Kyoto du 3 au 7 août 2015 :

WEHC 2015 [S10060], August, 4th 2015, 9-12.30
« Network Management in Late Medieval
and Renaissance Europe »

Le programme de la session est à présent en ligne
Network Management (pdf du progamme)

This session aims to understand the organization of mercantile networks in late-medieval and renaissance Europe. Mechanisms of control of these networks were a central issue in shaping the European economy because merchants bankers were at the centre of the European economic flows. Besides seeking for profit, which is the main point of all the money movements, merchants built the places of commerce and the network. This session aims to study the connection between European markets provided by merchants’networks. It also aims to show that specific case studies allow a better understanding of late-medieval and renaissance market economy than institutional studies. The goal of the session is not only to represent the space where actors’ choices developed, but also to understand how merchants built and used their own economic spaces in order to interconnect European markets together. An in-depth analysis of all the opportunities offered by one commercial place is the basis for a study of business companies active in the whole European space.
The study of merchants’ archives, especially account-books that registered the daily activity of commerce and banking, shows the mechanisms of formalization and abstraction developed by merchants; these mechanisms shaped the entire economy. Information gathered from merchants’ documentation is instrumental for an understanding of economic spaces’ used by these merchants’networks.
Account-books allow for the understanding of the whole ‘merchants’ republic’ in progress and how it was organized; they also show the strategies developed by the merchants’ company; moreover they enable the uncovering of the organizational framework that consents men, goods and money to commute from place to place inside Europe’s fragmented political institutions; finally, the companies’ internal affairs recorded in the firms’ books are instrumental to understand how networks operated.
In order to reach these aims, archival research seems more appropriate and efficient than institutional analysis: this has also been demonstrated by Reinhold Mueller and Richard Goldthwaite, whose works have shown the organization of the European commercial and financial movements around Venice and Tuscany. Case studies explain how the European economy worked during the late medieval and renaissance times.
This session aims to demonstrate that research based on a wide range of primary sources can shed light on the dynamics of late medieval and renaissance Europe from the point of view of one of the groups that shaped society: merchant bankers and their companies.

Part I. Markets ans Merchandises (Chair : M. Scherman)

Francesco Guidi Bruscoli / Matthieu Scherman, Introduction.

Joana Sequeira, Hides Trade between Lisbon ans Pisa in 15th century : Agents and Network.

Mathieu Arnoux, Between Changing  Markets : the Salviati Woolcloth firm in San Martini di Firenze (ca. 1420-ca. 1500).

Ingrid Houssaye, Textile Products from Florentine Workshops to Ottoman Bazaars: a Multifaceted merchant Network.


Part II. The Merchants and their Networks (Chair : F. Guidi Bruscoli)

Juni Hope, The Identity of Jewish Genizah Merchants.

Berverly A. Dougherty, John Whiston, merchant: a Fortune in Foreign TRade (16th century).

Agnès Pallini-Martin, Florence and Merchant Network in France: The Naldini Compagny in Toulouse.

Nadia Matringe, Credit reallocation and the Financing of International Trade in Early Modern Age: the Fair Deposit.


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